Water is life but Pakistan is running out of this. Pakistan is one of those countries that may have faced severe water crisis issues and possibly their upcoming generation might found difficult to get water for themselves. So many factors contributed to these upcoming crises like climate change, agriculture, Population increase, mismanagement of the system but I think these upcoming crises are because of the lack of Dams in Pakistan. Political leadership didn’t focus much on this issue.
Pakistan rapidly moving towards the water-scarce and the average availability of water remain less than the 1000 cubic meters per person and it is reaching towards the dangerous line. According to the survey in 1951 Pakistan has 5260 cubic meters per person. In 2005 it fall from 5000 cubics to 1000 cubic meters per person and now it is expected that it’ll go to 500 cubic meters per person in 2025. Now you can assess the situation of water crises in Pakistan.
Pakistan has 43 lakes and in 26 lakes water level down at a very dangerous level. Another reason for this crisis is their issue with India. In 1960 Ind-Pak sign an agreement and by that agreement, Pakistan gave three rivers to them, Ravi, Sutlej, and Beas but later in the 20th century they start building dams on Jehlum, Nelum, and Chenab by which we can that the water level is low there as well.
Pakistan has only two dams Tarbela Dam and Mangla Dam and these dams are not enough to full fill the country’s need. These dams built during the regime of Ayub khan (Military Man). From that time neither they built any dam nor they can store water for the crises, furthermore, the water storage capacity of their dams depreciates by 12% too.
According to the International Monitory Funds (IMF), Pakistan among those three countries that are facing acute water storage issues. Some reports from United Nation Development Program (UNDP) and Pakistan Water Research Concile also warns the authorities that the country will reach the absolute water scarcity by 2025. Researchers also predicted that around 2040 Pakistan might be barren due to the scarcity of water.
“No person in Pakistan, whether from the north with its more than 5,000 glaciers, or from the south with its ‘hyper deserts,’ will be immune to this [scarcity],”said Neil Buhne, UN humanitarian coordinator for Pakistan
This is not the first time that Pakistan’s water research council has alert the Pakistan authorities. In 2016 they Reported that Pakistan touched the stressed line of water in 1990 and scarcity of the water reaches in 2005. This crisis working like a slow poison and will be more dangerous than terrorism.
Diamer-Bhasha Dam – A Dream Come True
After 40 years now finally, the government of Pakistan has started the project of Diamer-Bhasha dam with the help of China. It is a 442 billion PKR project, a joint venture of China & FWo. Chinese State-run organization China Power holds 70% and the FWO, a commercial wing of Pakistan Arm Forces, holds 30% of consortium. Earlier this month the Prime Minister of Pakistan state that we are going to start this project. This news like a flower in the desert for the people of Pakistan. This dam is one of the biggest dams in the world and at a very high point. Because of its geographic position, it has greater importance.
Pakistan wastes every year about 22 Billion dollars of water by throwing into the sea because they don’t have proper storage. Now the working on Mohmand dam already begins. This is a project of 309 Billion PKR. But Diamer-Bhasha dam far more important than any other dam because of the following reasons:
- It can store about 81 Lakh acre-feet water
- It saves around 2.216 billion dollars annually
- It will produce 4500-megawatt cheap electricity
- It will mirage 12 Lakh acre land of Pakistan which is barren at the moment
- Employment opportunities also occur due to this project
So these are the benefits that Pakistan can get once this dam is completed. But it will not be that easy as we all know that Pakistan has its issues with India and recently Indian authorities blam Pakistan that they are building this dam on occupied Gilgit-Baltistan which was denied by the Chinese spoke person.
China Rejects India’s Objection over Diamer-Bhasha Dam
I hope it all goes well for the people of Pakistan and this project turns to be the game-changer in terms of economic development of the country as well as the solution of their water crises.